This is the only Saturday metropolitan meeting for the Ipswich club, which is about 80km from the Brisbane CBD. It traditionally throws up a series of boilovers, mainly because it is a tight track with a relatively short straight.
However, most races are run at a fast pace and horses can come from back in the field. You will often see jockeys take off at the 600m and try to be on the lead as the field turns for home. The frantic pace can often throw horses off balance.
For the past two years, Ipswich has been used as a metropolitan standard midweek venue so there is more track form than usual for this meeting. The rail is true and the forecast is for showers with the major rain on Sunday. If the rain comes early, be careful of horses drawn on the inside.
HEART OF A WARRIOR has won both his starts at this track and likes to lead. He is well suited under the Plate conditions and the 1666m will be no trouble. He has more than a few things in his favour.
OUTRAGED has had a funny campaign as he was 50-1 when a close second first up over 1350m on May 14 . He has since been back to win a Deagon trial last week. He will be running home hard but has to overcome a tricky barrier from the 1666m start, which has only a short run to the first turn.
SANKARA SPIRIT has run second at both his starts this track. This is slightly harder than his recent races but there looks to be a stack of pace here, which should suit him.
COURTS STAR led all the way to win at the Gold Coast in handy company and then found a stakes race too hard last start. This suits a lot better and he should be able to sit up on the pace here. He looks the best value in the race.
SELECTIONS: NO 3 HEART OF A WARRIOR, NO 5 OUTRAGED, NO 7 SANKARA SPIRIT, NO 9 COURTS STAR. VALUE RUNNER: NO 9 COURTS STAR.
R2 12.43pm Three-Years-Old Handicap 1350m
DEE NINE ELLE was very brave when second in Sydney on her last start. She has a lot of pace and probably will lead here. The stable considered running her in a stakes race today but elected to keep her for her own age. Has won and been second at her two starts this track.
ALWAYS SACRED has been racing in much better company and has been far from disgraced. Has a big weight but at least also has a 1.5kgs claim here.
DON'T DENY US has won his past two in easier races at the provincials. But he does hit the line hard and should be suited with a likely fast pace.
SALMANAZAR was gelded recently and he showed it had done the trick with an easy win at his last start. He has drawn the inside barrier and has the top jockey on board here. He should get the run of the race.
IN HIS STRIDE ran some very good races early in his career. He has a massive drop in class here and could be the best roughie despite his recent failures in stakes races.
SELECTIONS: NO 4 DEE NINE ELLE, NO 1 ALWAYS SACRED, NO 2 DON'T DENY US, NO 11 SALAMANAZAR. VALUE RUNNER: NO 5 IN HIS STRIDE.
R3 1.20pm Two-Years-Old Handicap 1100m
This is a surprisingly good 1100m race for this time of the year as most of the good two-year-olds have been running over longer distances.
SIR DONALD won his maiden on this track like a very good horse. He is well bred, has drawn the inside barrier and has a lot of pace. He looks well placed with 1 kg over the limit here.
SPOT THE DIFF has won four races and really isn't all that badly off at the weights after the 1.5kgs claim. Has been up for a while but is holding her form very well.
Her stablemate HAPPY EVENT has a stack of pace and hasn't run since a controversial fifth in late April.
LAUDERDALE won his maiden on the same day as Sir Donald and ran a slightly slower time. But he was trapped deep three wide the entire trip and really hit the line hard. He probably wants at least 1200m but class might carry him through.
ALASSAK is much better drawn than at his last start defeat. His win was at this track when he showed pace and he might be over the odds here.
SELECTIONS: NO 4 SIR DONALD, NO 1 SPOT THE DIFF, NO 3 LAUDERDALE, NO 2 HAPPY EVENT. VALUE RUNNER: NO 5 ALASSAK.
R4 1.57pm Ipswich Dash Class Six Plate 1100m
This race has been thrown into complete chaos because of the barrier He he has the pace to lead the field if he decides to jump with the rest of them. He has plenty of tricks but there is no doubt on his day he is a potential top liner. You probably have to take the punt he will jump here, so don't take silly odds.
DESERT GENERAL looks to be in a race far too short for him. But he is down in class and has the inside barrier. Also, it is very rare for his trainer Liam Birchley not to get a winner on Ipswich Cup day. This might be the one.
WICKED INTENT has a lot of pace and won this day last year when a two-year-old. Has a tricky barrier draw but does have the pace to be up near the lead. Wicked Intent has won in open company so well up to this.
SARISARA is another who is back in class here. She hasn't really come on since winning well at Toowoomba first up, but should get a nice run here and not badly off at the weights.
APPLE THIEF will be good odds because of the barrier draw but has not run a bad race in a long time.
SELECTIONS: NO 3 UPSTART PRIDE, NO 8 DESERT GENERAL, NO 7 WICKED INTENT, NO 10 SARISARA. VALUE RUNNER: NO 1 APPLE THIEF.
R5 2.37pm Stayers Final 2150m
This race has seen some very big successful plunges over the years. It is a good idea to watch the market movers before investing, but again the race has been thrown into chaos by the barriers. It is a relatively short run from the top of the straight to the home turn and then a sharp turn out of it. If you are caught deep going out of the straight you can get shunted very deep and lose all hope.
It is why ARTABI is the top tip because although his form is handy without being great, he will get a nice run from his barrier. He also has the services of top jockey Damian Browne.
CAILLEBOTTE has been racing very well in better company. But he has a big weight and a terrible barrier here. If he gets any luck he will be in the finish on ability alone.
KOBI CREEK has been plodding around in restricted races. But he is honest and he is well drawn with a top apprentice to ride. If luck goes his way, he could cause an upset as he has been placed in much better company earlier in his career.
AMEXED has gradually been racing back into form and at his best would win this. He is hard to catch but from the good barrier he has to be some hope.
SELECTIONS: NO 3 ARTABI, NO 1 CAILLEBOTTE, NO 7 KOBI CREEK, NO 2 AMEXED. VALUE RUNNER: NO 2 AMEXED.
R6 3.17pm Ipswich Cup 2150m
There have been some wonderful Ipswich Cups over the years but this isn't one of them. About half the field are eligible for restricted class and one is a maiden. It is often a race for lightweight horses but this year it is hard to go away from the horses up high in the weights.
MAURUS is one who has been running in very strong company. His run in the Doomben Cup was good enough to win a much better race than this. He just has to get around Ipswich from his tricky barrier to be a real chance.
PUCCINI is a Group One winner and wasn't too bad when unplaced in the Brisbane Cup last time. This is far easier and he should be on the pace the whole way.
DANCE OF HEROES is from a top Sydney stable that won this race last year. He is down in the weights and his racing style should suit Ipswich.
WORTHY CAUSE has had absolutely no luck this campaign. He was going for a spell but the stable considered the original nominations so weak they threw him into this.
INSTRUMENTALIST has been racing for months and gradually getting better. He looks a rough hope here and they might even try to lead all the way.
SELECTIONS: NO 2 MAURUS, NO 1 PUCCINI, NO 7 DANCE OF HEROES, NO 3 WORTHY CAUSE VALUE RUNNER: NO 6 INSTRUMENTALIST.
R7 3.57pm Eye Liner Stakes 1350m
The best race of the day with a heap of chances. TRUBIA is down in class here and drawn the inside barrier. He also has Michael Cahill back on him. Cahill has won three races on Trubia and seems to ride the horse best. He should be each way odds.
PILLAR OF CREATION loves wet tracks but can be effective on dry going. He has had a freshen up since his last start failure and gets in here very well at the weights. He had no luck when close up in this race last year.
STEEL ZIP is ready for the pension but continues to race well. He has trialled three times for this and won the last two. He needs a genuine pace in his races and should get that here.
NINTH LEGION is a horse which has raced against the very best. He has been set for this race and should go much better than recent failures. Trainer Peter Robl has put blinkers back on him, which is a plus.
ROYAL OCCASION is probably the best of the roughies and is another who likes a strong pace. There are several natural leaders here so he should get that.
SELECTIONS: NO 7 TRUBIA, NO 4 PILLAR OF CREATION, NO 2 STEEL ZIP, NO 1 NINTH LEGION. VALUE RUNNER: NO 11 ROYAL OCCASION.
R8 4.33pm Gai Waterhouse Classic 1350m
Again not the strongest Gai Waterhouse on record which means Gai Waterhouse the trainer has a great chance to win it, with ECHO GAL. Her jockey Tegan Harrison is leading the Ipswich jockeys premiership this season and she should be able to bounce out and dictate from the inside barrier. Echo Gal would only need to be near her best to beat this field.
SRENADE has been going okay in her recent races and has a nice barrier draw for her racing style. She had little luck last start and from barrier three with the minimum weight looks hard to beat.
SCARLET BILLOWS would win this on her best Melbourne form but the barrier and the weight around Ipswich could be a worry. Nevertheless, this isn't strong and she has to be a chance.
FRILL SEEKING has been a little disappointing but has good enough form to be in the finish here.
ELUSIVE CATCH could be the roughie here but only if it rains. She is lengths better on a wet track and would probably start close to favourite if the rain came.
SELECTIONS: NO 2 ECHO GAL, NO 10 SRENADE, NO 1 SECRET BILLOWS, NO 8 FRILL SEEKING. VALUE RUNNER: NO 11 ELUSIVE CATCH.